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I have friends who are brilliant with flowers –every arrangement seems fresh and surprisingly beautiful. Me?  Not so much. I struggle a bit in the floral design department, and so I’ve developed a formula that helps me put together flowers for the dinner table with a minimum of head-scratching and anxiety.

Here’s a short video about how I do it.



Kid Couture Party Hats

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Julia’s birthday is approaching, and I’ve started to think about an activity that would be fun for her party guests.  Six year-olds have probably outgrown these conical hats that were a hit four years ago, but maybe they could decorate some more grown-up headgear –berets, baseball caps, or boaters?  Seems like that could could be […]

Speedy Gourmet #4: Mussels with White Wine and Herbs

Monday, July 7, 2014

Here’s another meal you can make in 15 minutes with just five ingredients (in addition to salt, pepper, and basic cooking fats): mussels with a delicious, aromatic sauce of white wine and herbs or Moules à la Marinière, if you want to get all French about it.  The dish is as elegant as it is […]

Brunch Sandwich Buffet

Monday, June 30, 2014
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The summer houseguest season is here and with it the challenge of keeping a houseful fed, watered and happy while remaining cheerful yourself –and getting a bit of time at the pool, beach, hammock or whatever.  I nearly always enjoy making dinner, but three full meals a day for a group can be a little […]

San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

San Francisco now has many neighborhood farmers markets, but the Saturday market outside San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building is still, I think, the biggest of them all. (Besides being an operating ferry terminal, the Ferry Building itself is also a sort of fine food mall –in a very good way. It contains dozens of shops […]

Summer Refreshment: The Paloma

Friday, June 20, 2014
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It’s finally summer!  And in New York at least, it seems like it’s going to be a hot one. Here’s a twist on a popular Mexican drink that’s a refreshing alternative to the Margarita — the Paloma.  In Mexico, this drink is usually made with just a local brand of grapefruit soda and tequila.  It’s […]

Palm Sugar Ice Cream

Sunday, June 15, 2014

One Saturday morning Julia asked me, “What kind of ice cream are you making today, papa?”  It’s a summer weekend ritual.  I make ice cream, and Julia usually sits on the counter and helps, or at least jumps in when it’s time to lick the dasher.  When I answered, “Indonesian palm sugar ice cream, Sweetie,” […]

Mixed Seafood Paella

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

This past weekend in Southampton was wonderfully warm and sunny, so I thought I’d lure everyone out of the pool with one of our favorite summer meals, seafood paella.  In Spain, paella describes a seemingly limitless variety of rice dishes, but here most of the paella we get is a pretty complicated affair that combines […]

Ellen’s Flourless Almond Cake

Monday, June 2, 2014

  Our friend Ellen isn’t responsible for the recipe for this delicious, deceptively simple cake.  (We can thank Sister Angela at the Convento de la Purisma Concepcion in Penaranda, Spain for that.)  Indirectly, though, she is responsible for introducing us to this delicious dessert.  Ellen has an allergy to wheat. Of course, she’s too gracious […]

Speedy Gourmet #3: Pasta with Sausage and Kale (Video)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
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Here’s the third installment of our Speedy Gourmet series, where we have just five ingredients and 15 minutes to make a meal. (Salt, pepper, water and basic cooking fats don’t count against the five because, well, I make the rules.) The idea for today’s dinner came from our friend (and Julia’s godmother) Marta, and it’s […]